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Addiction. 2013 Jan;108(1):104-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03993.x. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

Prevalence of alcohol and other drugs in fatally injured drivers.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.

Abstract

AIM:

This study aims to examine the prevalence of alcohol and/or other drugs (AOD) in a large sample of fatally injured drivers.

DESIGN:

Using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System for 2005-09, the authors examined the prevalence of AOD detected in fatally injured drivers in the United States.

SETTING:

Fatal motor vehicle crashes occurring on public roads.

PARTICIPANTS:

Drivers who died within 1 hour of the crash in 14 states that performed toxicological testing on more than 80% of these drivers.

MEASUREMENTS:

The prevalence of AOD and multivariable-adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR).

FINDINGS:

Of the 20,150 fatally injured drivers studied, 57.3% tested positive for AOD, including 19.9% being positive for two or more substances. Alcohol was the most commonly detected substance, present in 40.2% of the fatally injured drivers, followed by cannabinols (10.5%), stimulants (9.0%), narcotics (5.7%) and depressants (4.0%). Multivariable analysis revealed that AOD was significantly more prevalent among drivers who died in single-vehicle crashes [aPR 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.62-1.76] or night-time crashes (aPR 1.43, 95% CI: 1.39-1.47), or who had a driving-while-intoxicated conviction within the past 3 years (aPR 1.41, 95% CI: 1.35-1.47), and less prevalent among drivers who were 65 years or older (aPR 0.45, 95% CI: 0.42-0.49), Asian (aPR 0.47, 95% CI 0.41-0.53) or female (aPR 0.88, 95% CI: 0.85-0.91) or who were operating a motor carrier (aPR 0.41, 95% CI 0.34-0.48).

CONCLUSIONS:

More than half of fatally injured drivers in the United States had been using AOD and approximately 20% had been using polydrugs. The prevalence of AOD use varies significantly with driver and crash characteristics.

PMID:
22725100
PMCID:
PMC3467360
DOI:
10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03993.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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